New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Dunedin, 5th day March 9, 2013

Late jitters and long waits

Plays of the Day from the fifth day of the first Test between New Zealand and England in Dunedin

Cracking batting of the day
The previous evening, when speaking about his maiden Test hundred, Nick Compton said how it would be nice to "whack a few" from time to time. Perhaps, though, his bat isn't made for it. He was not exactly hammering the ball on the final morning, but suddenly needed to change his piece of willow after a crack appeared down the back of the blade. The new bat worked nicely as he clipped a full toss from Tim Southee to deep square leg.

Half-century of the day
This does not refer to an actual score. Instead, it is the number of deliveries it took for Steven Finn to progress his score from 53 to 54. It was comfortably more than an hour between him adding to his total after reaching his maiden Test fifty and there was a rather sheepish grin on his face when he blocked a ball from Trent Boult which ran past mid-off, bringing cheers from the crowd.

Direct hit of the day
How often do run-outs cause jitters - or worse - when a draw is seemingly assured? The one involving Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe at Antigua in 1998 comes to mind, as does the one between Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen at Centurion in 2009. This time it was Ian Bell and Joe Root. Bell struck a ball sweetly off the back foot and thought he'd found the gap at cover. However, Southee produced a sharp dive, save and collect, then sprang to his feet and threw the stumps down with Root short of his ground.

Spell of the day
Neil Wagner's excellent match continued as he charged in during the final day. He produced a superb spell during the afternoon session, claiming the wickets of Trott and Pietersen - the latter for the third time in three innings. Running in from the Grandstand End Wagner delivered eight pacy overs off the reel. His break was not long, either, as shortly after tea, with a glimmer of hope for New Zealand following two quick wickets, he was back in the attack. He ended the day with the most overs by a New Zealand fast bowler in an innings since Daryl Tuffey sent down 49 against Pakistan at Christchurch in 2001.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 11, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    I don't think Root was expecting Bell to be calling for sharp singles. I know I wasn't.

  • LAVIGNE on March 10, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    Before this match, Steve Finn was number 7 on the list of bowlers who have taken MORE wickets (70 wickets) than they have scored runs (51 runs) - with a minimum of 50 wickets. After this match, he no longer belongs to that list, as he has more than doubled his tally of runs (+ 76 runs) for a solitary wicket. The leader of that list will remain Chandrasekhar (India) with 242 wickets and 167 runs. Among the current players, only Chris Martin (NZ) and PP Ojha (India) can improve the record.

  • Nicholas on March 10, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    So who was man-of-the-match, or is there such a thing in truncated drawn games? My guess would be Rutherford for his wonderful debut century, but Wagner bowled well too.

  • John on March 10, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    It was a great piece of fielding by Southee to run out Root, no doubt. Just the save itself was excellent but to then get up and throw down the stumps was fantatsic. In retrospect, not a run that Bell should have called for. Not sure whether he thought the ball was through or he just figured a sharp single was on because it was some distance from the fielder. Either way, Joe root should have been ready for the call and responded earlier. If he had then he almost certainly would have made his ground. Bell and Root can take some of the credit each for that dismissal, but the majority still goes to Southee.

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